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Coming into Fashion

A Century of Photography at Condé Nast

Nathalie Herschdorfer

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A century's worth of fashion photography from the archives of Condé Nast, showcasing exquisite images by legendary photographers at the outset of their careers


Fashion photographs – glamorous, provocative, beautiful, accomplished, magical – have always been associated with some of the most famous names in the history of photography, such as Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Helmut Newton and Mario Testino. This has been the case since the beginnings of fashion photography in the early years of the 20th century: the great American photographer Edward Steichen took what were probably the first fashion photographs in 1911 and since then some of the most distinguished practitioners have turned fashion photography into an art form.

For many fashion photographers it was the editors and art directors at Condé Nast publications, such as Edna Woolman Chase, Diana Vreeland and Alexander Liberman, who launched their careers. This book, accompanying a major international exhibition, looks at the early work by such luminaries as Horst P. Horst, Erwin Blumenfield, David Bailey, Guy Bourdin, Corinne Day, Deborah Turbeville and Sølve Sundsbø as it appeared in the pages of Vogue, Glamour and other Condé Nast magazines. This creative collaboration has kept fashion photography - and Condé Nast - innovative and often challenging but always able to capture the style of the day.

With unprecedented access to the Condé Nast archives in New York, Paris and Milan, the photography historian Nathalie Herschdorfer has gathered original prints as well as pages from the actual magazines to provide a unique opportunity to see the work of over eighty photographers right at the beginning of their careers. The book also features essays by Olivier Saillard, Director of the Musée Galliera, Paris and Sylvie Lécallier, Head of the Photography Collection at the Musée Galliera, together with an exclusive interview with Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia.

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'An indispensable survey of the great Vogue photographers ... What makes this book so valuable is that it makes clear that the Vogue eye has been not only a great entertainment, but a true visual education'
Sunday Times

'A sumptuous study of the body as a work of art'

'The mark of a truly great fashion photograph? When it makes you shiver … this new book shows the most sublime from the past 100 years. … contemplating these pictures leaves your mind free to wonder over the extraordinary swings in the representation of women that have taken place through our recent history'
Sunday Telegraph

'Breathtaking images … A wonderful reminder that behind all the tantrums and egos, fashion and photography make the perfect marriage of two inspirational art forms'
Daily Mail

'Proves that great photography never goes out of style ... the most successful images on these pages - and many of them are the finest of their kind in the world - arouse a powerful response'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 30.5 x 25.5 cm

Extent: 296 pp

Illustrations: 208

Publication date: 17 September 2012

ISBN: 9780500544174

About the Author

Nathalie Herschdorfer is an author and curator specialised in photography. She is the director of the Museum of Fine Arts Le Locle, Switzerland, and a curator with FEP (Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography). She has written a number of books amongst which are Afterwards, The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Photography, Coming into Fashion and reGeneration, all published by Thames & Hudson.

List of Contributors

Sylvie Lécallier, Olivier Saillard, Franca Sozzani, Todd Brandow